2019 Events and News

5 December 2019 – Carleton University Environmental Science Projects

Carleton University third year students presented their Environmental Science group projects this week.  We sponsored two projects:

  • Pinhey Sand Dunes – record insect diversity on this unique site and make recommendations for public engagement, and
  • Carp River Restoration Site – monitor seeded and invasive plants and make recommendations for citizen science and public engagement.

The Pinhey Dunes students recorded 6 insect species, looked at lessons learned from other dune restoration projects worldwide, and developed a questionnaire and pamphlet to improve public knowledge about what makes the site ecology special.


The Carp River students recorded 19 plant species in a 350m stretch and identified three invasive species:  wild parsnip, flowering rush, and phragmites.  They also looked at five citizen science projects  and recommended a public awareness event and use of iNaturalist to promote yearly collection of data to see how the site flora change over time.

30 November 2019 – Hydro Corridor Visioning Workshop

The Briarbrook and Morgan’s Grant Community Association (BMGCA) held a workshop to engage the community in a visioning exercise for future uses of the hydro corridor, which runs 1.5 km from Old Carp Road to Terry Fox Drive.  We have been working with BMGCA, Hydro One, and the City of Ottawa for four years to support the evolution of the corridor into greenspace.  Councillor Jenna Sudds and Hydro One’s Terry Tysick also attended.  There was some discussion about how to extend Morgan’s Grant model to other publicly owned hydro corridors in Ottawa.  Read our post for more details:  Morgan’s Grant Hydro Corridor Visioning Workshop.

27 November 2019 – Join Us at the Aquatic Expo

Join us at the City’s Aquatic Expo and Wildlife Speaker Series talk by the “Fish Guy”, Dr. Steven Cooke, on Wednesday, 27 November at Ben Franklin Place at 7pm. Dr. Cooke’s talk is titled “Fish Tales: An Exploration of Ottawa’s Underwater World.” Need help with a community stewardship project? Visit our table in the foyer.

October 2019 – Petrie Island Tree Inventory Report is Now Available

The Friends of Petrie Island (FOPI) have posted the 2019 Tree Inventory Report on their web site.  Key findings:  Together Silver Maple and Basswood comprise 52% of the 443 trees surveyed.  American Elm, Butternut, and Green Ash are dying from introduced diseases.  Wire-wrapping the trees does seems to protect them from beaver damage. The largest trees on the island are Silver Maples, with four measured at over 100 cm DBH.  OSC and the Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club partners with FOPI to conduct the inventory, which will continue next year.

September 2019 – 2019 Carleton University Projects

This year we are sponsoring two projects for Carleton University’s third year Environmental Science students in the 2019 fall semester:

  1. Carp River Restoration Site Monitoring of Seeded and Invasive Plants – in partnership with Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, and
  2. Pinhey Sand Dunes Project – in partnership with Biodiversity Conservancy International.

For the Carp River project, students are conducting a survey of the site along its pathways to record the distribution of species that were seeded as part of the restoration.  Students are also recording the location of invasive species such as Phragmites and Flowering Rush.  The information can be used to measure the success of seeded species and to mobilize volunteers to remove invasive species.  Students are using iNaturalist to record and map their observations.

For the Pinhey Dunes project, students are assisting scientists by recording the insect prey of robber flies within the dune complex.  They are also researching other examples of dune restoration and of public engagement in ecological restoration.

17 and 18 August 2019 – 400 Trees Recorded in Petrie Island Tree Inventory

The Friends of Petrie Island, in partnership with the Ottawa Stewardship Council (OSC) and Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club (OFNC), conducted a tree inventory on 17 and 18 August.  Petrie Island is known for its biodiversity and Hackberry trees, which are at the northern extent of their range and uncommon in the Ottawa area.  The inventory information (e.g. species, diameter, health status) will be used to develop a forest management plan for the island. Invasive species locations were also recorded. Now volunteers will enter the information into a spreadsheet so that the data can be analyzed and uploaded to iNaturalist. Another inventory is planned for next year.  For more information see Friends of Petrie Island.

14 July 2019 – Carp River Living Classroom

OSC is working with the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) and Friends of the Carp River to support development of a wetland education program at the Carp River restoration site in Kanata.  The Carp River Living Classroom will have many education elements, but one will be a mobile app called EcoTrekr, which is aimed at families and children in elementary/middle school.  On 14 July, the EcoTrekr development team ran a focus test on an early version of the app to gather feedback from users that will be used to improve the user experience.  MVCA will be posting more information about the Living Classroom and EcoTrekr as development of the site’s education elements progress.

June 2019 – Bee Hotel at Pinhey Dunes Hydro Corridor

This week Hydro One and the scientists working to restore the Pinhey Dunes installed a bee hotel beside the area’s hydro corridor near Slack Road. Last year OSC connected Hydro One with the research team to ensure that the corridor maintenance clearing was done without impact to the fragile dunes. Thank you to Hydro One for working with the community and funding the bee hotel.

For more information about the Biodiversity Conservancy research project, see Saving a Threatened Ottawa Sand Dune Complex.

11 May 2019 – Butternut Tree Planting

With the help of local residents, we planted 20 Butternuts yesterday at Kanata Lakes in areas cleared of dead Ash trees. The trees come from the Butternut Recovery Program and are grown using seeds from canker-resistant trees. Special thanks to Marilyn Poirier for organizing the volunteers.


6 April 2019 – Morgan’s Grant Hydro Corridor Community Green Space Revitalization

OSC continues to work with the Briarbrook and Morgan’s Grant Community Association to develop ideas for the hydro corridor that runs through their community. On April 6, about 35 local residents attended a facilitated meeting to discuss how this under-utilized 2 kilometer long green space could be used to benefit the community. The OSC and City of Ottawa made presentations.  You can read more about this project here:  Morgan’s Grant Green Space Restoration.

January 2019 – Pollinator Project Blog

Hillary Hale has generously allowed us to publish her blog. You can read it here: Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor: vacant land or abundant potential for nature and community?  Hillary was a student in the 2018 Environmental Science group project course at Carleton University. Her group’s project was Pollinators in an Urban Meadow, which studied the Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor in partnership with Briarbrook Brookside and Morgan’s Grant Community Association.